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Wrap up the school year with global literature

Posted on June 20, 2017

Looking for an end-of-year lesson that incorporates world literature? We're happy to announce that Words Without Borders now has a sample lesson plan for every collection of literature on the site! (High school teachers: the lesson plans include correlations to standards, and, in several cases, suggestions for extending lessons and using them to support English Language Learning, or ELL.)


The Siberian adventure story "A Dream in a Polar Fog" includes frozen imagery which students might find refreshing at this time of year! The lesson plan for it addresses the stereotypes at play between a Canadian explorer and his Chukchi guides, and includes several ELL strategies.


In "Sleepless Homeland," Carmen Boullosa asks "Quo vadis?", or, "Where are you going?" to the country of Mexico. The lesson plan includes a creative writing activity in which students write their own poems asking "Quo Vadis?" of a person or place. (Includes ELL strategies.)


The short and intriguing story "The Trapped Boy," puts readers inside the mind of a teenage boy being bullied; the lesson plan includes a potential comparison with William Blake's well-known poem "The Tyger." (NYS teachers, we also provide links to the revised standards here.)


"The Guest," one of the most popular works in the Egypt collection, tells the story of a grandmother who married into a Bedouin family. The lesson plan includes a discussion of the power of labels, as students examine what it might mean for a person to be referred to only as "The Guest." (Includes ELL strategies.)


Yu Jian's stunning poem "Two or Three Things from the Past" begins with a description of a summer day during the Cultural Revolution:

So hot then
red trucks loaded with burning tongues

The lesson plan for the poem helps students distinguish truth from government propaganda—a skill which is, perhaps, especially relevant in today's political climate. 

We hope these plans are helpful, and if you end up using one, we'd love to hear about it!